Dakota County Broadband Profile 2020: Green Rating: Ranking out 8 of 87

Green=served Purple=underesrved Red=unserved

Rank (from 100/20 megabits per second): 8
Code: Green

Annually, Blandin Foundation pulls together data from the Minnesota Office of Broadband Development and broadband news to gauge progress toward the state broadband goals (25 megabits per second download/3 Mbps upload by 2022 and 100 Mbps/20 Mbps by 2026). Leaders can use this information to improve broadband access and use in their communities. To see how the state is doing overall, or to compare counties, visit the Blandin Foundation interactive map. Or check out past years’ reports: 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2020.

Dakota County: Nearly there, Dakota continues to invest

Dakota County has been planful in their building of local broadband. They deployed infrastructure for a government network, leaving excess capacity for residential use. They have a county board focused on broadband that leads an initiative to improve access and use. Charter received a Border to Border grant to upgrade broadband in Dakota County and County Commissioners recently approved the use of CARES Act funding on broadband improvement.

Broadband Access:

2020 2019 2018 2017
100/20 (2026 goal) 97.42 97.56 64.89 64.18
25/3 (2022 goal) 98.31 98.46 97.54 98.47

Computer Access:

County Households with computer …with desktop or laptop …with a smartphone …with a tablet et al …with other
State of MN 90.3% 81.1% 76.5% 59.3% 3.5%
Dakota 94.1% 87.5% 82.3% 66.0% 3.6%

What we learned in the past:

Dakota County built a public network that connected government buildings and then opened up the network to third party providers. Also, they benefit from being a metro county with higher population density, which makes it easier for broadband providers to make a business case to offer faster services. But the county is not entirely urban, so they have some underserved areas.

Update from 2020:

Dakota County has a Board that focuses on broadband. They meet reguarly and have a plan for leveraging excess bandwidth from their government network (which includes 320 miles of fiber) to serve residents. Since the last broadabnd profile, Charter received a Border to Border grant that will help serve Rosemount in Dakota County:

Charter Communications – Rosemount North Project – GRANT $499,072
This middle and last mile project will upgrade approximately 40 unserved and 225 underserved locations in northwestern Rosemount in Dakota County. In a funding partnership with the State of Minnesota and Dakota County, Charter Communications will improve broadband service levels up to 940 Mbps download and 35 Mbps upload, exceeding the 2022 and 2026 state speed goals. Project area residents have been actively engaged in an effort to improve broadband service offerings in their neighborhood.

  • Total eligible project cost is $998,144
  • Local match is $499,072

More recently, Dakota County approved $800,000 in CARES Act funding for broadband.


  • 100/20 Mbps ranking: 8 (down 1 places)
  • Has worked with Blandin: no
  • Has received a MN Broadband grant: no
  • Household density: 258.9


I am doing the annual look at broadband in each county – based on maps from the Office of Broadband Development and news gathered from the last year. I’m looking at progress toward the 2022 (25 Mbps down and 3 Mbps up) and 2026 (100 Mbps down and 20 Mbps up) and will code each:

  • Red (yikes)
  • Yellow (warning)
  • Green (good shape)
This entry was posted in MN County Profiles 2020 by Ann Treacy. Bookmark the permalink.

About Ann Treacy

Librarian who follows rural broadband in MN and good uses of new technology (blandinonbroadband.org), hosts a radio show on MN music (mostlyminnesota.com), supports people experiencing homelessness in Minnesota (elimstrongtowershelters.org) and helps with social justice issues through Women’s March MN.

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